A version-to-version emblematic of the momentous shift in early-60s Detroit soul — one foot in the tumultuous waters of the 1950s; the other tutored by Berry Gordy in more sophisticated and profitable moves.
Two sparkling, evocative versions of the Nat King Cole: Zilla, the blues and gospel singer from Atlanta, from a 1961 LP; and Ray Johnson from New Orleans (the brother of Plas Johnson), for Aladdin in 1957.
Nuts, jazzy exotica, with driving percussion, and vocals unhinged in lust. The flip is an infectious, shuffling rhythm and blues dancer, and paean to Lincoln’s new beloved… a monkey.
From the end of the 1940s, amazingly — heady with New Orleans traditions and innovativeness, a riotous blend of heavily syncopated Caribbean rhythms and laid-back Southern swagger.